Right wing politicians called on ministers late Saturday night to ignore Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wishes and to approve legislation to legalize
unauthorized West Bank Jewish construction, including five-apartment building in
Netanyahu opposes the legislation, nicknamed the outpost
But MKs Ya'acov Katz (National Union) and Zevulun Orlev (HaBayit
HaYehudi) plan to propose two laws to that effect for a preliminary reading
before the Knesset plenum on Wednesday.
"There is no doubt that anyone
who fears for the fate of Zionism and the nation of Israel, and who does not
want to be a partner to its destruction, will vote on Wednesday for the bills
which will pass by a great majority," Katz said.
He and Orlev hope that
passage of the outpost bills would avert a High Court of Justice mandate to
demolish the structures by July 1.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is
weighing a plan to relocate the structures located on the outskirts of the Beit
El settlement, which is home to 30 families.
But Katz and Orlev have
rejected that option, because they fear that left wing organizations would
continue to petition the court against homes like those in the Ulpana built
without proper permits on private Palestinian property.
Orlev said, "If
the bills do not pass we can expect a Tsunami of petitions by Peace Now to the
High Court of Justice that could cause the evacuation of thousands of Judea and
Samaria residents from their homes." "We're talking about a domino effect that
could impact 9,000 homes," Katz said. "This is one fifth of the homes in Judea
and Samaria," he said.
Katz added that it would be ten times larger than
the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.
To date, however, Netanyahu has opposed
legislation and ordered his ministers not to support the legislation. Ministers
risk losing their posts if they ignore Netanyahu’s voting
Without ministerial support the legislation is unlikely to
Government Services Minister Michael Eitan said on Saturday night
that he planned to oppose the bills.
"A strong settlement enterprise is
one that maintains the law,” Eitan said. “The prime minister knows that
outpost legislation won't help. It will harm Israel internationally and the
court will invalidate it. It is better to honestly said that this medicine is
not any good, than to deceive the patient into believing that this treatment
could save him,” Eitan said.
Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin and
Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor have said they oppose the outpost
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said
he would vote for the bill even if it would lead Netanyahu to fire
Transportation Minister Israel Katz said the same at the end of May,
but will be abroad on Wednesday.
Two Likud member groups, the Nationalist
Camp in the Likud and My Likud, took out a fullpage advertisement the Makor
Rishon newspaper, with quotes from ministers saying they will support the
In it, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said, “We must
legalize the neighborhood through legislation,” and Culture and Sport Minister
Limor Livnat said, “The outpost bill is a moral imperative for the
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said the outpost
bill should be passed as soon as possible, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said
outposts should be legalized via the Knesset, and Vice Premier Silvan Shalom and
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the outpost bill is the only
Likud ministers have complained that not only will they have to
vote against their conscience, but that non-minister MKs will have an advantage
in the next primary because they will be able to vote in favor of saving
While they are less concerned about a primary, other parties’
ministers are also debating how to vote on Wednesday.
and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman has said several times that his
party supports legislation to legalize the outposts. He is expected to decide
how his faction should vote on Monday.
Shas also favors the bill, but
party chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai is less willing to clash with
Netanyahu than Liberman.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel
Herschkowitz and Habayit Hayehudi’s two other MKs plan to vote in favor of the